University of Brighton lecturer releases book about Peacehaven's history

A lecturer at the University of Brighton has released a book which documents Peacehaven's history and conception as a seaside town

A lecturer at the University of Brighton has released a book which documents Peacehaven's history and conception as a seaside town.

Julia Winckler's book - entitled Fabricating Lureland - draws on the academic's own experiences as a resident and regular visitor to Peacehaven since childhood in the 1970s and 80s.

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It also features interviews with some of the first generation of people to grow up there, constructing a history of the imagination and memory of the town.

Julia Winckler's book, entitled Fabricating Lureland, draws on the academic's own experiences as a resident and regular visitor to Peacehaven since childhood in the 1970s and 80s

Dr Winckler, Principal Lecturer in University of Brighton's School of Art & Media, said: “I am really thrilled that there is already so much interest in the book, and I hope readers will enjoy the wider cultural and historical connections that the book makes."

The book's exploration of Peacehaven's history is accompanied by over 200 illustrations, alongside previously little seen material including blueprints, photographs, postcards, promotional material, oral history and guidebooks.

The University lecturer's exploration of Peacehaven's changing image draws on her PhD research as well as her personal biographical relationship to the town, and provides the first in-depth interdisciplinary study to delve into a substantial but under-explored archive of diverse material relating to Peacehaven's roots.

The book describes how developers drew on ideals and imagery from the Garden City Movement, as they envisioned Peacehaven as a sunshine resort atop the Sussex coast's white chalk cliffs, providing a place for people from all walks of life to own their own homes in an environment that provided good health and an idyllic lifestyle.

This was to respond to the negative impact of crowded, industrialised cities and the horrors of WW1.

Dr Winckler also details how the plans for Peacehaven drew hostile reactions from illustrious nearby Sussex residents such as Virginia and Leonard Woolf, who branded the new settlement a 'blot' on the rolling, pastoral down land.

Dr Winckler has gifted copies of the book to Peacehaven Library, The Keep and RIBA and was also invited to the House of Commons to present a copy to Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven.

This Thursday (May 12) there will be a joint book launch at the University of Brighton, Grand Parade Campus with Dr. Annebella Pollen - author of Nudism in a Cold Climate: The Visual Culture of Naturists in Mid-20th-Century Britain - to celebrate the publication of both books.

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